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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

All packed and ready to go Mass

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Servais Pinckaers OP RIP

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Of your charity, pray for the repose of his soul.

First came the hurricane

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And then came the whirlwind.

Europe should look to St. Benedict for model of renewal

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Vatican City, Apr 9, 2008 (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI held the last general audience today ahead of next week’s papal trip to the United States, urging a renewal of the Christian faith in Europe.

With Easter celebrations subsiding, Pope Benedict returned to his teachings on the lives of the Early Fathers of the Church this Wednesday, as he greeted 20,000 visitors and pilgrims in an overcast St. Peter's Square.

This week the Pope began a catechesis on the Father of Western monasticism, St. Benedict:

"Dear Brothers and Sisters,….the most important source of information on his life is the Second Book of the Dialogues of Pope Saint Gregory the Great. Writing in a time of turmoil and moral decadence following the fall of the Roman Empire, Pope Gregory believed that the life and Rule of Benedict could be a light leading the people of Europe out of darkness".

St. Benedict was born in 480 in the region of Nursia. He came to Rome to study but soon left the city so as to live in silence and to please God alone. He spent some time in a religious community before becoming a hermit in a cave.

"After struggling victoriously against the fundamental human temptations of pride, sensuality and anger, he decided to found a monastery at Subiaco. Years later he established a new community on a mountain, Montecassino, to symbolize the public role of a monastery called to be a light shining for the good of the Church and society. Indeed, when he died in 547 Saint Benedict left behind a thriving spiritual family and a Rule, which invites us to search for God in prayer, obedience and humility while attending faithfully to daily duties and to those in need," the Pope said.

Throughout his life St. Benedict "was immersed in an atmosphere of prayer, the main foundation of his existence. Without prayer there is no experience of God, but Benedict's spirituality was not an interior life divorced from reality. In the disquiet and confusion of his time, he lived under the gaze of God and with his own gaze fixed upon God, though without losing sight of his daily duties and the concrete needs of mankind".

In 1964, Pope Paul VI proclaimed Saint Benedict Patron of Europe recognizing the role that his teaching and his disciples had played in shaping Europe's spiritual life and culture. "Having just emerged from a century profoundly marked by two world wars and following the collapse of the great ideologies, ... Europe today is searching for its own identity", remarked Benedict XVI.

The Holy Father concluded his teaching with a fervent wish that Europe's new unity may be enlightened and nourished by a religious and moral renewal drawn from its Christian roots.
"May your lives, after the example of Saint Benedict, be lived in humility, prayer, obedience to God and faithful service to your neighbor. May the Lord bless you and your families!" Pope Benedict exclaimed.

Ann of Austria at prayer with her children, seeking the intercession of St Benedict and St Scholastica.

Liturgical meditations

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on the Most Holy Rosary.

England, by John Henry Cardinal Newman

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Type of the West, and glorying in the name
More than in Faith's pure fame!
Oh. trust not crafty fort nor rock renowned
Earned upon hostile ground;
Wielding Trade's master-keys, at thy proud will
To lock or loose its waters, England! trust not still.

Dread thine own power! Since haughty Babel's prime,
High towers have been man's crime.
Since her hoar age, when the huge moat lay bare,
Strongholds have been man's snare.
Thy nest is in the crags; ah, refuge frail!
Mad counsel in its hour, or traitors, will prevail.

He who scanned Sodom for His righteous men
Still spares thee for thy ten;
But, should vain tongues the Bride of Heaven defy,
He will not pass thee by;
For, as earth's kings welcome their spotless guest,
So gives He them by turn, to suffer or be blest.

Fr Aidan Nichols on The Conversion of England.

Cologne-Catholics

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"The people of Cologne love to celebrate, whatever the occasion. Whether a Corpus Christi procession or a Shrove Tuesday march, it will be a colourful event in the open air. The people of Cologne are not Roman Catholic, but Cologne Catholic. God has become a real resident of Cologne, where he has set up business in the Cathedral."

Quote from German TV programme on the Cologne Carnival.

Cardinal Lehmann supports Islamic religious instruction

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Cathcon translation of
Lehmann für islamischen Religionsunterricht

The Catholic Cardinal Karl Lehmann agrees with the Islamic Conference: He speaks for Islamic religious instruction in Germany.

He was sure if a lesson was in German, the teachers would be trained in Germany and "everything would take place in the framework of our school regulations," said the longtime Chairman of the Bishops' Conference to the "Neue Ruhr / Neue Rhein Zeitung, onTuesday. Lehmann lamented however the communication problems with Muslim organizations: "It is not easy to find the correct dialogue partners, because there is no common leadership (Cathcon comment: and all too often those that present themselves are not what they seem!)."

With its call for an Islamic religious instruction in German schools, the Islamic Conference in mid-March generated a divided response. Federal Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) had pointed out that the objective should be to have regular lessons in the German language. The Evangelical Church and Christian Democrat politicians praised the proposal. The Central Council of the ex-Muslims, described the project as "completely wrong".

2008 Cannonball Blog Awards

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Don't forget to vote! Cathcon has been placed in the "More Catholic than the Pope" Category.

Medieval originals

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Bishops and Popes from the Adoration of the Lamb Altarpiece in Ghent show the way for the Benedictine Transformation of the Papacy.